London: Expressing fears that President Pervez Musharraf might use the issue of Lal Masjid, which was stormed by the Army to flush out militants, as “a pretext” to postpone polls, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has demanded the dismantling of terrorist cells in the country.
“People say the Red Mosque issue was propped up as a pretext to postpone elections. If that happens, the consequences will be very negative for Pakistan,” self-exiled Bhutto told PTI in an interview.
Pakistan is scheduled to go to polls towards the end of this year and the current Parliament has to be dissolved by November 15.
Bhutto also sought cooperation from the international community including India, the US and Commonwealth to pressurize Pakistan to hold fair and free elections. “But the elections cannot be fair when principal players are banned from contesting or prevented from campaigning,” she said.
Bhutto, the chief of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), said the terrorist cells continue to exist in Pakistan and added that sooner they are dismantled the better for the country.
“It is very important to dismantle the terrorists’ cells which continue to exist in Pakistan,” she said, adding the name madrassa was being used as a decoy to camouflage the militant cell.